Some free advice for LinkedIn

I have a love/hate relationship with LinkedIn — I love giving out about it and I hate that there’s so much to give out about. It’s somewhat necessary though (until something better comes along) so in a burst of sheer magnanimity*, I’ve decided to gift LinkedIn with some much needed design and product advice.

Some Background

In 2018 I ditched Facebook and Instagram, for two main reasons:

  • I think** Facebook is a glorified ad company masquerading as a social network who have questionable ethics at best.
  • I want to use my phone less. I rarely used Facebook to be honest, but Instagram just has a way of dragging you into scrolling nirvana.

So I was left with Twitter and LinkedIn, which I use almost exclusively for professional purposes — showcasing good work by my company or myself and also to see what others are up to. Both networks, if you can see past the rubbish, can be great sources of information and inspiration.

The Rubbish

The “rubbish” though is where I have a problem, mainly in LinkedIn, where over the last year or so, it seems (to me**) that it’s descending into a semi-work version of Facebook, where people mainly post annoying motivational messages, quotes, stories and whatever else they think will get them some cheap likes. Steve Jobs? Check! Peter Drucker? Of course! Awesome guys I’m sure, but why are their quotes clogging up my feed? Not to mention the inspirational stories about some rich guy, followed by a “You too can be like Warren Buffet if you blah blah whatever”.

The Quick Advice

So … LinkedIn, how about you:

Create three newsfeeds:

  1. Feed one: Only show posts about work that people have actually done themselves.
  2. Feed two: Only show posts about work that other people have actually done themselves, that others share and like.
  3. Feed three: Everything else.

Some more details:

Feed One: Only show posts about work that people have actually done themselves


  • “Check out the new project I just finished …”
  • “Delighted to showcase our new innovation centre in …”
  • “Had a great time presenting in …”

i.e. if there’s a post here from one of my connections, it’s something they have done themselves, not something they are sharing from elsewhere.

Feed Two: Only show posts about work that other people have actually done, that others share and like

i.e. content that people want to share, but that crucially is still about real work.

So no inspirational stories about a man who started with nothing and now he has 37 cars and lives in a skyscraper with its own runway, just because he persevered through the bad times and never forgot about Steve Jobs’ infinite wisdom****.

Feed Three: Everything else

i.e. motivation quotes, memes, fake inspirational stories, whatever. Who cares what’s in there, I’d never look at it.

Is this possible***?

Of course, using the magic that is Machine Learning! LinkedIn is owned by Microsoft now, they could definitely have a good attempt at the above. Just fire up some of the Azure bamboozlement you’re always boasting about and solve your own problems!

Imagine that sales pitch — “we used Azure to fix LinkedIn so now it’s not really annoying!”. Sign me up!

Why would they?

Because, and let me be serious for a moment — LinkedIn doesn’t have to be (in my opinion**) semi-crap. I mean it:

No website, app, or product needs to be badly designed.

With some proper design and by trying to understand what your users/customers actually like/want, it is possible to create something that people like*** and that still makes dollars***.

People like to give out about their social network of choice, but they don’t need to be so bad. Maybe imagine that people pay to use them, instead of using them for free and you may give it some more thought.

So, LinkedIn, you’re welcome.

(*I had to look up how to spell that one)

(**so I won’t get sued! This post is all just my opinion! Maybe LinkedIn isn’t the problem, but I am! Maybe Facebook are really well intentioned and just misunderstood!)

(***Yes, I did just manage to squeeze in the holy innovation trinity of Viable, Desirable & Feasible into yet another blog post, using similar words! Innovation sneaky.)

(****I’m not disrespecting Steve Jobs, I think he was amazing, especially his thoughts on marketers! I just don’t like 20 different quotes from him in my feed!)

If you’ve any thoughts or comments, let me know below, and you can get me on Twitter or … LinkedIn !!. Thanks, Andy




Creator of Boxapopa, the iOS game for young kids with zero ads, just fun!

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Andy O'Sullivan

Andy O'Sullivan

Creator of Boxapopa, the iOS game for young kids with zero ads, just fun!

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